Navigation mit Access Keys

SLF HomeMountain ecosystems

Mountain ecosystems

Main menu

 

Not only are mountain ecosystems home to numerous animal and plant species, they also prevent avalanches and rockfalls, protect against soil erosion and attract visitors to Switzerland. We are researching these habitats to see how strongly they are reacting to climate change or new forms of land use.

 

The Alps cover around 60% of Switzerland. Their ecosystems provide habitats for many species of fauna and flora, but also serve mankind in many ways, for example helping to protect against avalanches and rockfalls or prevent soil erosion and snow slides. However, their contribution to a landscape that is considered aesthetically pleasing is a crucial factor for attracting tourists to mountain regions.

The main aspects of mountain forests - one of the most expansive types of Alpine ecosystem - we are investigating are: a) how they can best protect themselves against natural hazards today and in the future, and b) how the treeline is shifting. Our findings will form the bases of decisions made in forest management and natural hazard simulation programs. But we are also exploring habitats above the treeline, where we are especially interested in shifts in plant diversity brought on by climate change and what they mean for mountain ecosystems.

 

Topics

Protection forest

We are investigating how forests can provide the most effective protection against natural hazards.

Mountain Forests and Forest Lines

SLF researchers are investigating the conditions causing the forest line to shift.

Plant ecology and biodiversity

We are investigating the interrelationships between climate change, snow and Alpine vegetation.

Soil stability

Vegetation can stabilise the soil. We are investigating the impact of plants and their mycorrhizal fungi on soil stability.